Ensuring Predictable Network Uptime via Automation in a Highly Unpredictable World

March 22, 2018 Mark Henninger

Winter snow and ice, spring thunderstorms with tornados, and fall hurricanes are all unplanned but critical factors we have to deal with to assure our services are up and running to keep communications and commerce moving 24/7. That goes for our own network management and engineering team here at Windstream Enterprise, as well as for our customers. For example, we have already managed an unprecedented four consecutive major Nor’easters this year!

How do you prepare for these events and assure the stability of your network to support business continuity in an unpredictable world?  On our end, one of the solutions is through network automation.  For increasingly network/cloud-driven businesses, choosing a service provider that uses this kind of technology so they can detect network failures, dispatch technicians and speed disaster recovery within minutes can greatly reduce or even mitigate the impact of natural disasters and major weather related events.

The conventional approach to network automation

For NSPs, Power and Environmental are the most critical kinds of alarms to monitor potential network outages/events. Alarms such as fire, battery discharge, HVAC failures, rectifier and generator alarms indicate hazardous conditions needing immediate attention to prevent an outage.

Traditionally, these alarms are monitored by technicians in a 24/7 operations/monitoring center.  Alarms are manually identified, verified, ticketed and dispatched.  Each of those manual tasks have a time and customer cost associated with them with reaction time being a major determinant  between a close call or an outage with disruptive and/or costly consequences.

 A proactive approach to automation improves network reliability

With alarm automation launching this month, we eliminate the human factors from identification, verification and dispatching, freeing our network experts to focus on trouble resolution. And on making sure our customers are empowered to provide a superior, differentiated experience to their customers.

Our top five alarming platforms will have automations to Identify, Verify, Ticket and Dispatch critical issues within seconds. We’ll expand that program from there to over 90% of our Power and Environmental platforms in Q2 2018 and enhance the automations to understand the power impact during natural disasters.

By giving our field operations and vendor support teams more time to mitigate incidents that can lead to service outages, WE can proactively help to eliminate disruptions to our customers’ critical cloud-based applications and services. And that is what businesses need to expect today from their service providers. A partner truly committed to the success of their business.

Windstream Enterprise’s network automation efforts in power and environmental is an example of the added value we’re working to deliver to organizations today.  Not every network provider delivers this level of proactive network stabilization. In today’s constantly changing environment, WE wouldn’t accept anything less.

The post Ensuring Predictable Network Uptime via Automation in a Highly Unpredictable World appeared first on Windstream Enterprise.


About the Author

Mark Henninger

Mark Henninger is Director, Network Operations, Tier II, responsible for Alarm Automation, Rationalization, and Process Improvement in the Network Operation Center. Henninger came to Windstream Enterprise through the 2010 acquisition of NuVox Communications, where he led the Network Surveillance organization for 10 years. At Windstream Enterprise, Henninger and team have set the roadmap for automation across the NOC. He is a Graduate of State University of New York College at Buffalo with a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering Technology.

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